Monday, June 6, 2011

Caramel Frappuccino Cupcakes

I've been MIA. I've been MIA because I've been busy ending my junior year of college, moving, and visiting with my family from New York. But, that doesn't mean I haven't been cooking or eating! I'll catch up by beginning with these amazing cupcakes. The perfect combination of caramel and coffee, with a really fluffy whipped cream-like frosting. You're going to love it.

Caramel Frappuccino Cupcakes
For the cake: 
1 stick of butter, softened
1 cup of sugar
2 cups of flour
2 tbsp of instant espresso granules
1/2 cup of milk
1/2 cup of strongly brewed coffee
2 eggs
1 tsp of vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350'. Line a cupcake tin with 12 paper liners. 

Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing in between eggs. Sift together the instant espresso and the flour. Mix together the coffee, milk and vanilla. 

Alternating between the flour mixture and the coffee mixture, add them to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. 

Fill the liners 3/4 of the way full and bake for 18-20 minutes. 

While the cupcakes are baking, make the frosting. 

Caramel Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream: 
5 large egg whites
1 cup plus 2 tbsp of sugar
A pinch of salt
4 sticks of butter, at room temperature
2 tsp of vanilla extract
5 tbsp of caramel

Bring a pot of water to a boil. In a heatproof bowl, combine the egg whites, sugar and salt. Place the bowl over the pot of water and reduce the heat so that the water is simmering. Whisk the mixture constantly until it reaches 165' and the sugar is dissolved.

Transfer the mixture to a different bowl and beat with a hand beater until stiff peaks form. This should take about 10 minutes.

Slowly add the butter to the meringue, two tablespoons at a time. Once the butter is all mixed in, add in the vanilla and caramel. The frosting may look curdled and gross at times, but that's okay, just keep beating. This part should take about 5 minutes.

When the cupcakes are cooled, top each with the frosting and drizzle with more caramel. This cupcakes will stay good up to 3 days. I would recommend refrigerating them.

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